Ireland will be looking to lay down a marker today as they face fellow Home Nation Scotland at the International Stadium Yokohama.
Joe Schmidt’s are currently top of the world rankings and have the weight of expectation on their shoulders as a result.
Ireland skipper Rory Best is under no illusions as to the threat Scotland pose to his side.
“Our knockout-stage record is not something that will crop up until we get to the quarter-final,” said Best, who at 37 is set to retire after the tournament.
“There is a lot made of the fact that Ireland have never been to a semi-final but in my time some of the rugby we have played in the group stages has been some of the best rugby Ireland have played.
“With Scotland first, there’s no time to play ourselves into the World Cup. We know we have to be better than we were against Wales.”
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is likewise aware of the task his team have in front of them.
“You can’t disguise this as anything else than a hugely important game against a very good side,” Townsend said.
“Ireland have shown in recent years that they do take their chances and they punish teams.
“We have had two of our best-ever training sessions, so as a coach, you get excited about things like that.
“I believe in this team as individuals and we believe we will create opportunities. On Sunday it is about taking them.”
Express Sport is on hand with live updates as Ireland and Scotland go head-to-head at the Rugby World Cup.
Ireland vs Scotland teams
Ireland: Larmour, Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale, Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best (captain), Furlong, Henderson, James Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Stander.
Replacements: Scannell, Kilcoyne, Porter, Beirne, Conan, McGrath, Carty, Farrell.
Scotland: Hogg, Seymour, Taylor, Johnson, Maitland, Russell, Laidlaw, Dell, McInally (captain), Nel, Gilchrist, Gray, Barclay, Watson, Wilson.
Replacements: Brown, Reid, Berghan, Cummings, Thomson, Price, Harris, Graham.